The College Leader project is led by Tony Tompkins, ICT Strategy Coordinator at The City of Leicester College. The project makes use of the city-wide DigiLit Leicester framework to support staff development and embed digital literacy across the College. A new educational technologist support post has been established (College Leader – New Technology), training sessions focusing on three of the DigiLit Leicester strands have been designed and delivered, and the school has supported staff with release time to work on innovation projects to develop the use of technology to support practice.
Tony talks about DigiLit Leicester at the City of Leicester College:
College Leader post
In September 2012, the College created the role of “College Leader – New Technology”, a temporary secondment to the leadership team. The secondment was originally meant to run for four terms as part of the BSF process, to help with the visioning for New Technology and to contribute towards the ICT solution design process for the new build. This secondment was due to finish in December 2013.
Once we arrived in our new building, it became increasingly clear that there was need for the role to continue, to ensure that we made full use of the new technology delivered through BSF.
Thanks to the additional funding made available through the BSF ICT Innovation fund, the College was able to extend the temporary Secondment of College leader – New Technology for a further two terms beyond its original 4 term remit. As a direct result of this extra time, we were able to better support the bedding-in process of the new ICT solution, which has been quite problematic and has required much more management than the College was expecting.
Also during the extra two terms, the College have been able to create a new permanent post of “ICT Strategy Coordinator” at leadership level, and have successfully appointed to this role. The post holds overall responsibility for the strategic direction and development of New Technology within the college and will also lead on CPD aimed at boosting the skills of our staff team. The additional funding has helped bridge this period and provided continuity, allowing the College to continue to develop its effective use of ICT to support teaching and learning.
DigiLit Training Sessions
We have thus far managed to deliver 3 out of the 6 training sessions aimed at moving staff on to the next level of competency within each DigiLit strand. these were run as two hour twilight sessions, running from 3:30 – 5:30pm.
The twilight sessions proved extremely popular, if a bit tiring, and all were fully booked out. We gave priority to staff who identified as “Entry” or “Core” by asking Lucy Atkins from the DigiLit project to mail shot these staff directly with a priority invitation. The sessions were created and delivered by our own Pioneer level staff, and tailored to suit the technology and software available within school. We focused predominantly on SharePoint, and use of iPads as these are key parts of our ICT strategy and least familiar with our staff.
The 3 sessions run were on the following DigiLit strands:
– Creating and Sharing
– Communication, Collaboration and Participation
– Technology supported Professional Development
Evaluation of all 3 sessions was extremely positive, with most staff rating the sessions as Outstanding and all staff rating them Good or better. Where sessions were criticised, it was mainly around the fast pace and the desire to fit a lot into each session.
We have 3 outstanding sessions to deliver in the Autumn term.
Small Innovation Projects
Part of the funding has been used to continue to innovate and develop our use of New Technology across the College. In January 2014, I requested bids from our staff team to run small innovations projects to develop the use of our existing software and hardware, delivered through the BSF process.
We currently have 6 innovation projects running across the College:
|Business||To increase awareness, and then use of the new learning platform that the college is developing – sharepoint- for the business education area, with a view to expanding this to the Business / ADT Hub.|
|Modern Foreign Languages||Develop the use of audio/visual feedback/marking – the use of Show Me app to produce marking that students can respond to
|Inclusion||Develop the use of laptops, ipads, Apps etc to support SEN students in the class.|
|Art & Design||To develop the use of the Laser Cutter and the software Corel Drawfor use with KS4 & 5 Design Students|
|Art & Design||To develop a ‘Video Resources Bank’ which can be used to;
|Business||To develop the use of e-beam so that all teachers are confident with all its features and capabilities so that they can save lesson plans, annotated and voice recorded power points and email them out to students.
All the accepted projects use new software or equipment delivered as part of the BSF process. The successful staff were offered up to 10 hours release time to develop their practice with this New Technology and to create resources for their subject areas to use.
The innovations projects are on-going, though many have been delayed by difficulties with staff taking release time to devote to development of their projects. This is partly due to their own reluctance to leave exam classes, and partly by constraints from the College due to the amount of cover already taken across the school this year. We have requested and been granted an extension until autumn half term to allow staff more opportunity to take time and work on their projects. I will report more fully on the impact of this project in the final report.